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First Storm of Hurricane Season Breaks Records May 18, 2012
Satellite Image
Poorly organized Tropical Storm Aletta can be seen spinning well west of Mexico's Pacific coast.
Tropical Storm Aletta became the first named tropical cyclone of the 2012 season in the Western Hemisphere when it formed well to the west of Mexico’s Pacific coast.

While a marginal and unnamed disturbance formed over Indonesia’s Banda Sea during the previous week, Aletta’s formation broke a 41-day streak in which there were no named tropical cyclones anywhere on Earth.

The U.K. Met Office said that was the longest stretch without such a storm for the planet in at least 70 years.

The last time there were as many as 38 consecutive storm-less days was in 1944, when global weather monitoring was still in its infancy.

Aletta was named just as the northeast Pacific hurricane season was beginning on May 15, making it only the third storm to have formed by that date since records began in 1949.

The storm attained maximum sustained winds of only about 45 mph before encountering wind sheer and cooler waters to the north.

Those influences caued the hurricane season opener to dissipate far from any land areas.

Tropical Storm Aletta Track

Satellite Loop Data: CIMSS